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Eye on POY: Texas boys basketball

3/16/2012

The window on the Gatorade State Boys Basketball Player of the Year race is closing, and the search for elite student-athletes is in full swing. The award recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. Here are two top candidates who meet the basic award criteria as determined by our ESPNHS team that administers the program’s selection process.

Julius Randle

Junior forward, Prestonwood Christian Academy (Plano, Texas)

2011-12 Team record: 27-4

2011-12 Team standing: Won Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools Class 5A state title; No. 12 ESPNHS ranking

2011-12 Points per game: 21.1

2011-12 Rebounds per game: 9.2

2011-12 Assists per game: 2.7

2011-12 Blocks per game: 1.1

2011-12 Steals per game: 1.4

Academics: B average

Collegiate destination: HS junior

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: City of Palms Tournament MVP; District 5A-1 MVP; ESPNHS Class of 2013 No. 2-rated recruit.

Marcus Smart

Senior guard/forward, Marcus (Flower Mound, Texas)

2011-12 Team record: 39-2

2011-12 Team standing: Won Class 5A state title; No. 5 ESPNHS ranking

2011-12 Points per game: 15.1

2011-12 Rebounds per game: 9.2

2011-12 Assists per game: 5.0

2011-12 Blocks per game: 1.3

2011-12 Steals per game: 2.8

Academics: B average

Collegiate destination: Oklahoma State (NLI)

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: 2010-11 Gatorade Texas Boys Basketball Player of the Year; 2011 Class 5A State Player of the Year; Two-time Class 5A State Tournament MVP

Make no mistake, the Gatorade State Boys Basketball Player of the Year race isn’t over yet. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of our list. Here are some more of many who’ve been in the conversation throughout the 2011-12 campaign.

Isaiah Austin: Senior center, Grace Prep (Arlington, Texas)

Aaron Harrison: Junior guard, Travis (Fort Bend, Texas)

Andrew Harrison: Junior guard, Travis (Fort Bend, Texas)

Cameron Ridley: Senior center, Bush (Richmond, Texas)

Rasheed Sulaimon: Senior guard, Strake Jesuit Prep (Houston)

Think we're missing a deserving Gatorade State Player of the Year candidate in your state? Let us know via e-mail at ESPNHS_GPOY@ESPN.com.